Celebration of Life Cycle Events in the Life of a Jew
► Birth of a Child: Presentation of a newborn to the congregation is coupled with the activity of his/her first wimpel binding of the Torah. Notation of the naming and event is applied on the wimpel within the personalized prayer and design.
► Celebration of B’nai Mitzvah: One to two days prior to the ceremony, the wimpel is bound around the Torah scroll from which the weekly portion will be read. On Shabbat it is shown to the congregation when removed from the scroll. Inscribed upon the wimpel is notation of the event, Torah portion, Haftorah and other pertinent data within the design surrounding the prayer, usually near the Hebrew word ‘Torah.’
► Wedding Under the Chuppah: The circling/binding of the couple by their parents with the wimpel under the Chuppah, is especially significant when the event follows the Torah binding made the previous Shabbat. This is done at the occasion of the Auf Ruf in the Temple or Synagogue. Notation and date of that binding is added as part of the design surrounding the Hebrew word ‘Chuppah.’
► When a Jew is Baal Shuvah or Converted to Judaism: This person’s life reflects a new identity. Celebration of that ‘rebirth’ is heightened with the binding of the Torah scroll, along with a welcoming announcement of introduction for the new member to the community. Notation of the occasion on the wimpel provides additional anchor and meaning to this special event.
► The Family Wimpel: As each Jewish family has history developed from generation to generation, a wimpel becomes an elaborate and cherished object that, within it's design, incorporates the identity of the family. Family lineage, statistics of birth, marriage and death are made part of the design. Some wimpelin now incorporate several generations and function like a family tree. To see a wimpel bound to the Torah scroll with each simcha celebrated is a profound experience.
► Organizational/Congregational Wimpel: Group identity may be inscribed with documentation of name and history in the prayer that reminds us that our focus is Torah (Jewish learning), Chuppah (upkeep of family and home according to Jewish tradition) and Maasim Tovim (doing good deeds/mitzvot).
► Just a Thought to Ponder Upon: Although we don’t celebrate death in Judaism, we do, however, seek affirmation of our Creator with the loss of a beloved family member. We may feel, depending upon the spiritual orientation of the person, that binding the Torah in his/her memory would be of special relevance. Notation on the binding would be included near his/her name on the family or individual wimpel.
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